NBA Playoff Betting Preview: Warriors, Cavaliers lead way on odds

David Zalubowski  AP

"We've got one more game to seal the deal".

Much has been made of the NBA's "super teams", though the Golden State Warriors are the only team that has two top-10 players. After beating the Celtics in Boston to recapture the No 1 seed, the Cavaliers dropped their final four games and finished second in the conference.

Make no mistake: Everyone is chasing Golden State.

Will someone be able to knock the Cleveland Cavaliers off the pedestal in the Eastern Conference in this year's playoffs? As a team, the Warriors led the National Basketball Association in field goal percentage for the third consecutive season, and improved upon last year's mark by.008 percent. Giannis Antetokounmpo will arrive on the playoff scene and set the stage for many more Milwaukee runs, but playoff vets DeRozan and Lowry will take care of business and get off to a good start to the postseason. The Warriors have been to the finals two straight seasons, splitting those two.

Green was hit with a flagrant foul 2 for a kick to the groin of Oklahoma City's Steven Adams during the Western Conference finals, then a flagrant foul 1 in the Finals when he responded to Cleveland's LeBron James stepping over him in Game 4 with a swing of his arm to James' groin area.

Can LeBron James and Kyrie Irving score like Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal?

Leonard's rise to superstardom has been remarkable.

"We have a good club going to the post season and that's all I can ask for right now".

Skolnick: The safe play is to assume the champion Cavaliers find and flip that elusive switch, and that lights their path to at least the NBA Finals.

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Curry is an interesting case. But there's no denying that Curry had another terrific year, and he still averaged more than 25 points per game while sharing the ball with Durant and Klay Thompson. "And that's to be expected when you play two days later".

Because so many teams make the playoffs in the NBA's playoff format, each year a large number of mediocre teams make the postseason.

Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder against James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Los Angeles has won 18 of the past 20 meetings with Utah, according to the OddsShark NBA Database. However, that was for the regular season.

Only the Dallas Mavericks averaged less points per game in the regular season. It never really is, especially in the tough Western Conference. To finish with a better 3-year run in terms of overall win percentage, the Warriors need to go 16-4 or better this postseason. It's not important how may triple-doubles Russell Westbrook has, as long as the Thunder wins.

Super stats give way to tremendous teams in the playoffs, and the Warriors look the part after going 67-15 in their first season with Durant, now healthy after a late-season injury.

The Bulls claimed the eighth and final seed in the East and meet the Celtics in the first round. The Wizards, meanwhile, have two in guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Thompson picked up the slack with Curry sidelined past year against Portland, leading the Warriors in scoring in three of the five games - with 37 points, 27 and 33.

Many people have been looking forward to a Warriors-Cavs Finals since a year ago, when the Cavs came back from 1-3 down to claim a drought-breaking first title in a seventh-game thriller.

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